Volquez, Chapman Poised to Join Reds In Different Roles
OAKLAND -- The Reds are looking at the possibility of getting two big arms for their staff in the next several weeks: Edinson Volquez for the rotation and Aroldis Chapman ... for the bullpen.
Volquez, who made his third rehab start on Wednesday, is still on the schedule the Reds penciled out for him before the season, which would have him back around the All-Star break.
As for Chapman, Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that the lack of an opening in the rotation is the reason that Chapman may find himself in the Reds bullpen.
"If we decide to bring him up, his best opportunity might be in the bullpen," Jocketty said before the Reds concluded their series against the A's.
Although it would have been logical to think that the Reds would move Chapman to the bullpen as a means of limiting his innings, Jocketty said Chapman has enough arm strength that he could continue to start through the end of September.
"He has a pretty resilient arm," Jocketty said, adding that there is still no timetable for Chapman's promotion, although it seems the time is coming near.
Chapman, who worked in relief in a Triple-A game on Wednesday, has a 4.12 ERA this season at Louisville.
He was the second of three relievers to pitch behind Volquez, who gave up one run in five innings in an encouraging rehab outing. Volquez hit 98 mph on the radar gun. He is scheduled for three more outings before rejoining the Reds rotation.
"He's really come back strong," Jocketty said. "Hopefully he keeps progressing with no setbacks. He was one of our best starters two years ago, an All-Star. Getting a pitcher of that caliber back is a big lift for our club."
Manager Dusty Baker said his biggest concern is not rushing Volquez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
"If you get eager then you have a chance to rush him back out of need," Baker said. "We pay attention. We monitor him. We'd sure like to have him back tomorow, but he has to be right when he comes back. And when he comes back we don't want him to ever have to leave again."
Volquez's 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy expired last week.